So here's my last thank you for this story:

I've said it on another site already, but here is where it really applies. If this story was any good at all, it's because of you guys. It's because you guys encouraged and helped me along the way, because you shared your opinions and still supported me even if I went in a direction you didn't like. Thanks for being honest and for caring about the characters. So many people said so many kind things, things that made it worth it in the end for me to continue this story, to plan a sequel for it. I would mention you all, but I'm so scared I'll leave someone out. So to each and everyone that ever reviewed this story, whether it be regularly or simply one time, thank you for taking the time to do it. Thank you for sticking it out this long and reading this.

I should warn that it gets a little...steamy later on in the chapter. Nothing too explicit I hope, but there's some girly loving, so if that offends you, stay clear.

I don't own anything, so don't sue me.

Senior Year

Chapter 29: (Slow dancing in a burning room)

Ashley's point of view.

There's moments in your life you'll never forget. Moments that burn into your memory, that sink into your mind and gets replayed in dreams or nightmares for the rest of your life. Sometimes they're a good memory and sometimes they're not. The first time I kissed Spencer, the day I heard my father died, the day I found out I was pregnant, the night I lost the baby. Good and bad, stored forever.

Today, this weekend really, is all one big memory, both happy and sad at the same time. A combination of the two weaved together so tightly that I'll never be able to untangle them, I'll never be able to remember the happy without recalling the sad. Maybe because of the sad, the happy memories will always be that sweet, you know?

The point is so many things happened in such a short time, so many both great and devastating things. I got to tell the girl I love what she means to me, but I also lost my best friend. I finally found trust in another person, in Spencer and her warm blue eyes, but I also lost respect for my sister. Or stepsister, whatever, the fact is I've loved and treated her as a sister ever since our parents married, so I see her as my sister and nothing less.

Now here I am, sitting in a kitchen filled with a sad silence, feeling Spencer's warm hand in my own and being both the happiest and the saddest I've been in a long time. I'm happy, because when the shit hit the fan Spencer was right there beside me. She didn't run away and she wasn't horrified, she was just there. She didn't leave me.

But I also just watched Kyla decimate Carmen, watched as she broke someone's heart and then went on to tell me she wanted to be with Aiden. She wanted the boy that got me pregnant. She wanted the boy that told me we'd get married and raise a baby together and live happily ever after.

Don't get me wrong, I'm over Aiden, so fucking over him it's not even funny, but I don't think I'll ever be over what happened between us. I won't ever be over losing my baby.

So no matter how happy I am to have Spencer, I'm also just so fucking sad, because I've also lost so much today.

"What's with Carmen? I mean when did she turn into Dr Phil?"

I hear Aiden's question and I actually cringe, because he's got no idea what Carmen just did. He has no idea that a broken hearted girl just got him his get out of jail free card. Her words ring in my ears again, I can almost see her eyes go dark and quiet.

"Let them do what they want and we'll all get what we deserve in the end. You have Spencer and you're lucky to have her, so hold on to that. Let Aiden have a taste of that, because it's obvious they've wanted this for a while and maybe it's the same for them as it is for you with Spencer. Maybe they love each other like you two do. Just...just let it go and enjoy the things you have right now, right this minute, because I think you and I can both appreciate that things get taken away. No matter how much you want something, you can lose it, so just stop fucking being afraid and holding on to this and just...enjoy it while it lasts."

Five minutes ago I was so angry at him. I was angry that he was going to just forget the fact that there was once a baby, an us. That he wanted to go on and pretend it never happened and with Kyla of all people. I was just so angry and hurt and don't ask me to explain it all, because God knows I cant.

Thing is I don't want Aiden anymore, but it was always comforting to think he'd always be there. He'd always love me, so I'd never really be alone. So hearing he wanted Kyla, he wanted to move on from me scared me so much.

Then Carmen, hurt, sad Carmen, reminded me that I'm not alone even if I don't have Aiden.

I have Spencer and that's more than I've ever deserved.

"Just shut up, Aiden. Don't talk about Carmen, don't mention her name. You don't deserve to."

I'm startled by Spencer's strong, angry voice. I'm startled by the pure dislike I can hear and the way her hand grips my own so much tighter. She's actually shaking a bit and I forget about my own problems for a second as I finally take note of her red face and clenched jaw. Her eyes intense and slitted and almost dangerous looking.

I don't think I've ever seen her pissed before and I mentally smack myself for noticing that it makes her look extremely hot. Like, I'm kinda twitching in my seat now hot, remembering how she had felt against me this morning when she'd slammed me up against the fridge. The way her body had moved suggestively and how her hand had immediately gone to my breast, it's warmth seeping into my skin and making me tremble.

How can I be sitting here, after all that just happened, and be getting turned on by her look right now and the memory of this morning?

Am I an insensitive pervert or what?


Kyla's tired voice washes over the room, but Spencer is up and out of her chair, her chest heaving as she takes large, calming breaths of air.

"No, Kyla, just no. I can't believe...I just...that wasn't right. That wasn't right, Kyla! You're not that person, you don't use people like that. It meant something, I know because I'm your Goddamn best friend and I know you. How could you do that? How could you just...use her like that? Hurt her like that?"

Then I can almost visibly see when Kyla goes 'Snap!'. It's in the way her whole body actually shudders for a moment, the way she squishes her eyes closed and then opens them wide, tears shining in them. I can see how this is going from bad to worse and I'm simply too slow to stop it.

"So it's okay for you to do it, but I'm a bitch when I do it? You dated her, made out with her and all because you were curios about what it was like to date a girl! Then you dump her after you find something better and even cheat on her, but I'm the bitch? Screw you! Just screw you all! I never made her any promises, I never told her it was something it wasn't. So don't look at me like that, don't stand there and look at me..."

Then she promptly bursts into tears, loud, painful tears. Her whole body shakes as she buries her face in her hands, as she turns away and into Aiden's arms. He holds her, his face confused and worried and I can't be angry at her. I can't be mad at her, because I can see how much this hurts her. How confused she is.

How she's so obviously in love with Carmen Garcia and too scared to do anything more about it.

I can't say I understand it, I can't say I approve of what she's doing here, but I love her despite it. She's just so fucked up right now and that's something I'm familiar with.

So I just sigh and take Spencer by the hand, squeeze it once than pull her out of the kitchen and away from Kyla and Aiden.

Neither of us can do anything to make it all better right now. This is something Kyla has to work out for herself. I just hope she doesn't end up hurting herself and Aiden in the process. I'm pretty sure she's already crushed Carmen with her confusion and doubt.

When my bedroom door closes behind us, Spencer sags down onto the bed, her face pale and drawn.

"I shouldn't have said that."

It's not a question. She knows that it was probably the wrong thing to say, that it probably ended up hurting an already fucked up Kyla more.

"And we should talk about...about what you said in the kitchen."

She's hesitant when she says this, her voice soft and gentle and I realize she's probably afraid to bring it up. Then when I look at her, when I see how she's looking at me with nothing but love I make a decision.

"Would you like to go for a drive with me?"

Her face is questioning, but I can tell she's trying to be careful, probably not sure where I'm going with this. I'm not sure myself, but I know we can't stay in this house any longer. I want to go somewhere with her where we wont be interrupted. Where everyone else's issues wont disrupt us or distract us.

I want to be alone with Spencer. I just...I want her all to myself when we have this talk.

"I...okay. A drive would be lovely."

So we shower (separately to my great dismay) and get dressed. I'm surprised when Spencer doesn't go to the other room to do so, but like the day before she watches me as I put clothes on this time and she does the same. It's a comfort really, the way I feel her eyes on my skin, the way this feels so right and natural.

After the confrontation in the kitchen I need this, I need to feel wanted and loved and reassured and somehow this does it for me. Us getting ready together in the same room and her straightening my top for me, brushing the hair off my face. The way I can feel how much she loves me in that simple gesture.

We don't talk, not for a whole hour or two as we drive in the soft rain that's still falling. I follow the coastline, the radio playing soft rock as Spencer's hand rests on my own. I feel like I could do this forever, sit in this car with Spencer and just drive. Just have the road open and full of possibilities in front of us.

Yet when I spot the turnoff in the road I know where I was heading all this time. Spencer just raises her eyebrow slightly when I pull up to an electric gate and punch in a code five minutes later. I still don't say anything as we pull up to the large house, the wet gravel satisfyingly crunching beneath my tires.

When I switch off the car and sit back in my seat, I finally turn to Spencer.

"My dad bought this two weeks before he died. We never got a chance to come here and spend time together as a family or anything, but my Mom could never sell it. I mean we never came here afterwards, but she's kept it clean and stocked with food I think. I know where the key is."

I get out and hardly feel the faint wetness of soft raindrops settling on my head and shoulders, I simply feel Spencer's warm hand in my own. I find the key and quickly unlock the door, punching in the security code and deactivating the alarm.

The house is large and quiet, the solitude of the white room with it's large windows that greet us making me stand still for a moment, just enjoying the view of the private beach before us.

"It's beautiful."

Spencer's voice is hushed, her eyes large as she looks around the room and out the windows and I'm suddenly reminded that not everyone is as lucky as me. Not everyone had rock stars for fathers and millions in trust funds. For some people a house like this is a dream that can never be reality.

"Let's go upstairs."

I know what I'm doing when I lead her up the stairs, straight to the master bedroom. The one with the big white bed and the view of nothing but ocean stretching for miles ahead. In the quiet surrounding us I can actually hear the waves crash against the rocks, the wind as it sweeps raindrops against the windows.

When she wraps her arms around me from behind, both of us staring out of the large windows, I finally let old hurts tumble out of my mouth.

"When I found out I was pregnant, it was probably one of the happiest days of my life. I was thrilled beyond belief and even Aiden was handling it well. was just the most beautiful thing in the world to me, to think that there was a person, a small, tiny person inside of me and I helped give it life, you know?"

Spencer shook her head, her breath warm against my cheek when she speaks.

"I don't know, but I want to find out one day..."

She didn't have to say it, but I heard the silent 'with you' in that sentence. I heard it and I loved her in that moment more than ever before.

I wanted that too someday.

"Well, it didn't last. I mean the baby, the didn't last. I was three or so months in when I...when I lost her. I can't tell you...I can't honestly tell you much about after. I don't remember the first few days. I was so out of it, so broken and sad and just...hurt. I mean I couldn't even help with the funeral, Aiden had to handle most of that."

I feel the tears running down my cheeks, feel the soft fingertips that wipe them away. Spencer doesn't say anything, just holds me even tighter.

"I was supposed to choose the name, but Aiden decided in the end. He named her Marie. I'll take you to her grave one day. It's nice, I always make sure there's flowers and stuff, you know so that it's nice and bright and colorful. Kids like that kind of thing, right?"

I like to think I'm taking care of her like that, that I'm doing what a good mother would do. I sing lullaby's when I go too, once sat for an hour telling her all the fairy tales I remembered my nanny telling me.

"That's...that's good, yeah. Kids love colors and flowers are good. Little girls would love flowers, I know I did when I was little."

Spencer's voice seems teary and I turn a little to see her face. To see she's crying a little too and I kiss her cheek.

"Don't cry. It''s getting better, everyday it gets better. You help a lot with that."

Spencer nods and then pulls away a little, stands next to me for a minute without saying a word. Then she sighs and turns to go sit on the big bed, her hands on her knees and her eyes on the floor.

"Do you still love Aiden? Is that why you didn't want him and Kyla to go to prom together?"

I almost laugh at this, but she looks so scared and strangely young sitting there, her lip being bitten firmly between two rows of white teeth and her hands fidgeting in her lap.

"I never loved Aiden the way I love you. He was just...I knew he loved me and that made me feel wanted. It was nice knowing that there was someone that wouldn't leave my Dad did. That's why I got so angry when he said he wanted to be with Kyla, I just got scared, but then I remembered I have you know and this is a thousand times better than anything I ever had with him."

That and I couldn't pull away from her, I couldn't do what I would have done a few months back and just distance myself from every one. I couldn't, because I saw how Kyla pushed Carmen away and I saw the look on her face. I saw what it looked like when someone's heart broke, saw such raw pain and realized that was what Spencer would feel if I did what came so natural to me.

I never want to see a look like that on Spencer's face caused by me. Or anyone for that matter. So I couldn't pull away, no matter how much a big part of me wants to.

"So I've got nothing to worry about. Well, nothing other than Kyla and Carmen and the mess they're in."

I finally sit down next to her, pull her against me and run my hands through her hear, feeling her soft sigh against my cheek as she relaxes into the touch.

"You'll work things out with Kyla, because you are her best friend and she's going to need you now, because I think we both know she's just scared and fucking up right now. I mean I get it, that could have been me. I don't know why I never freaked out like she did about feeling this way about a girl, but...Well, I guess it's just different for everyone, right?"

Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure if this happened a year ago, before the baby, I would have freaked out like Kyla. Maybe losing so much already has finally taught me to appreciate, no questions asked, the good things that come my way. Maybe I'm finally learning to live with all my loss and starting to enjoy the things I've since gained.

I'm like a fucking 'Lifetime' movie. Life's screwed me over so many times, but I've come out better despite it all.

It's time I started celebrating the fact that there are good things in my life, there are people that love me. That there's a girl that loves me, unconditionally and steadily, right next to me.

And what better way of celebrating that than finally...

"Can we have sex now?"

Spencer sputters and coughs, her face going red as her eyes bulge a little.

I guess she wasn't ready to change gears as quickly as I am.

"Uh...what? I mean...aren't we...really? Now?!"

Then I laugh, long and loud and happily. I laugh, because Spencer is beautiful and I love her. I laugh, because for the first time in years I'm not scared. I'm not worried about the things I could lose, I'm just happy to have what I have for however long I can have it and I'm done wasting time. Carmen was right about that.

"Yes, I want to enjoy the things I have and I have you, don't I?"

Spencer nods her head, her face still a little flushed, but she's starting to smile a bit.

"Good, because I'm also still insanely horny after this morning. God knows if you don't put me out of my misery soon I might just spontaneously combust."

Then I put words to action as I push her down onto the bed, my lips already fused to her sweet neck. Spencer giggles as I nip at the skin, her hands flung out across the bed and she finally laughs deep from her belly.

"You're crazy!"

I nod my head and press a few kisses to her mouth, my body settling comfortably on her own.

"Certifiable, but you already said you loved me, so shut up. You're stuck with me now and you know it. Besides, I've had a very traumatic morning and...and I just need you. I need you, Spence."

I went from joking to sadly serious in a few seconds and Spencer picks up on it, her hands coming up to gently touch my cheeks, her smile suddenly warm and intimate.

"Okay and just so you know, I need you too. All the time. In every way possible."

Then her mouth is on mine, solid and insistent. It feels like hours, like years that we just lie there and kiss. Her mouth and tongue soft and gentle and her hands warm against the skin of my back. She takes her time, travels from the cavern of my mouth to my jaw, her lips whispering softly against the skin until she finally nibbles on my sensitive earlobe.

"I need you to take off your shirt now."

Her voice is low and thick, like she just woke up or something, making my stomach clench with want. Making me burn low down in my belly, making me wet and weak.

I do as she says, leaning up and away from her, our eyes only breaking contact for the second it takes me to pull my shirt over my head, my bra following it to the floor a second later.

Then there's hands on me, warm hands that touch so softly it almost makes me whimper, because I want more. I want to feel all the strength and love in them, I want them to take what now belongs to them and only them.

I'm hers now, forever, and I want her hands to burn that into me with their touch.

"Touch me."

That's all it takes. My words whispered so desperately, more so than ever before in my life, seem to unlock something in Spencer, because suddenly she's everywhere. Her mouth is on my throat, her hands fully cupping both my breasts as they knead and tug and simply touch. As she slips her tongue out and tastes my flesh, as she feels the rush of my blood at my pulse point.

I don't know who makes the noise, the low growl that's emitted when her mouth closes over my nipple. Maybe we both make it, maybe I simply imagine it, but all thought and reason and awareness of anything but Spencer's mouth at my breast disappears in that moment.

I'm flooded with warmth, my center burning and wet and aching for more. For everything. For Spencer.

When her mouth and hands leave my breasts, I actually cry out. My hissed 'No!' bringing a smile to her wicked lips as she starts to tug at my skirt and my mind clears enough to know what she wants.

"Help me get it off. Help me get everything off."

Her voice is rushed as her hands shakily undo the zip on my hip, her mouth on my neck once again, like she couldn't bare to not taste me for that long. So I help, I actually stand up and drop the skirt, pull my panties down and then step forward to pull Spencer's own shirt over her head. Her jaw is clenched as I push her onto her back again, my hands tugging urgently at her belt buckle as her eyes roam my naked form.

When I tug her jeans down her legs and finally remove the last of the barriers between us, I almost cry.

She's beautiful. She's lying there, chest heaving and stomach muscles quivering and she's all mine. She's the most beautiful thing in this world and I'm never letting her go.


Then she shifts, her body flowing up in one graceful move and she's holding me. Her body, warm and naked and soft, is flush against my own and the sensation is over powering. Her smell and warmth and the pure feel of her is enough to make me lose whatever self restraint I had left.

It's my hands that brand her, that burn their mark into her with every desperate touch.

We tumble back onto the bed and I shift, parting her legs as I settle myself against her. My hands fumble for her breasts as my tongue runs over her bottom lip, gasping when her hands find my ass and she squeezes, pushing me hard against her. Making me feel her heat, her wetness, her want.

I almost come in that moment.

Then I'm in her mouth again, my tongue tasting and teasing as my hips start to rhythmically meet hers. She moans and I quiver, my hands flexing against her breasts and I marvel at the feel of this. At the pure electrical current that runs through my skin and into hers. The tingling, burning sensation that exists where ever we touch.

"I want...I want to touch you. Can I touch you?"

Her voice is breathless, unrecognizable with want and need and I give in.

"Yes, yes God, please!"

She flips me over and I smile at her haste, wondering where the shy girl that froze up on the couch went. I would have asked her too, but then her hand cups my center and we both shudder at the sensation. Her fingers explore my wetness, the slick heat that she caused, and it makes it hard to breath. Makes it hard to do anything but lie there and feel.

When a finger accidentally finds my clit, I gasp. She pulls back like I slapped her and then when she focuses back on my face she smiles.

"Okay, you liked that. Noted."

She does it again and smiles so wide when I arch up and groan, that I actually find myself breathlessly laughing with her.

"I liked that. I loved that. I love you..."

I'm not making much sense, but it doesn't matter, because Spencer is already moving on. Her mouth is back on my breast and her fingers are still lazily driving me insane. She strokes the length of me, hesitates when she comes back to where I want her the most. Where I need her to fill me.

Then suddenly her mouth is against my own, a hand against my cheek as she whispers words into my mouth.

"I hope this doesn't suck...and I love you too."

Then she's inside of me.

"Yes...oh fuck, yes!"

My mind goes numb, takes a vacation and leaves my body in charge. I buck up against her hand, meeting her as she strokes me, as she explores and touches every part of me. As she buries her face in my neck and breathes heavily against my skin, all the while moving inside of me.

Then her thumb goes up and brushes my clit again and I come so hard that I think I may die. Her fumbling hands, her virgin, unpracticed hands, gave me more pleasure than I've ever experienced in my life before.

I suck in air as I try not to pass out, as emotion and my orgasm rip through me and send me spiraling. Minutes later, when my breathing is easier despite Spencer still lying heavily on top of me, I finally open my eyes again.

"Jesus Christ, I think you broke me."

Spencer doesn't move for a second, actually stills completely, before she pushes herself up and looks at me with hazy, wanting eyes.

"The good kind of breaking, or the bad kind?"

She's breathing hard, her jaw working steadily and I finally realize that Spencer is seconds away from exploding herself. She's so turned on and worked up and suddenly I feel guilty that I was so selfish.

This was her first time, it should have been about her. I should have touched her, loved her, first.

"Come here and I'll show you."

I make up for it pretty well I think.

She's hungry and twitchy beneath me, her body moving instinctively against me to bring her some relief and I want to draw it out, I want to make it last for her, but she's got this confused, almost pained look on her face and I can't hold back.

I know what she needs, what her body is begging for, so I slip my hand between her thighs and gently slip a finger into her. Marveling at how wet she is, at how easily my finger fits in her.

She stills, her breath hitching and her back arching and I know I should have warned her, but I didn't want her to tense up and have it hurt. She releases the breath she was holding and her eyes find mine. I move inside her again, gently and slowly, letting her get used to the feeling. She smiles, her eyes closing when I brush her clit in the same slow manner and I know it's good.

I watch her face as I go on, my hand never rushing the pace as I simply enjoy the sound of her soft whimpers, watch as her body grows restless beneath my lazy hand.

"I want...I want more..."

I smile and lean down, my lips finding her open mouth as I stroke her more earnestly, adding a finger and working her clit at the same time. I know where to touch, when to gently nip at her nipple. I know when she's close, know that I need just a little more to give her what she gave me. Know what will make her feel what she made me feel.

So without hesitation I slip down her body, my one hand still teasing her nipple as my other buries itself as deep as it can go inside of her.

When my mouth finds her sex, she gives a surprised 'Oh' and then seconds later she shudders and I feel her clench around my fingers. She's over the edge and I've never felt such a feeling of accomplishment in my life before.

I think I was born to do this, to steal her breath and make her feel good.

"I love you. I love you so much."

I crawl back up her body, smiling when I see her face, the awed expression she wears and the still heavy lidded eyes.

"I love you too."

Spencer inhales heavily and then blows out the breath with a deep laugh, her face so bright and happy that my heart starts to race a little again.

"That was...I mean wow, I got that it had to be good and all, but that"

I find myself giggling with her and then she's wrapping me up in her arms, holding me so tight it hurts.

"Thanks for that. Thanks for making my first time that incredible."

I smile and I know it's smug, but hey, I'm pretty damn proud of myself here. I mean this was kind of a first time for me to. I've never been with a girl after all.

"I was just giving as good as I got is all. Let's just hope this wasn't beginners luck or something."

Spencer pinches my arm and I swat her hand away, laughing happily as she sloppily kisses my shoulder and then lies back again.

"You know my parents are going to kill me right? I was supposed to be home hours ago and it's not like I can say, 'Hey, sorry I'm late, but I would have been home sooner if I wasn't making hot, lesbian love with my girlfriend.' I might be grounded for a week after this."

I almost have a heart attack at the thought of not seeing Spencer for a week, not being able to spend time alone with her and talk.

Fine, I just really want to do this again. Like, all the time. I figure things like clothes and conversation will be pretty much over rated in my book for quite some time.

"So stay and make it worth it."

Wordlessly she nods her head, snuggles closer to me and all is right with my world. I have all I'll ever need right here in this bed, in my arms. Kyla, Aiden, everything else can wait for another day. Today, this moment, is all mine and Spencer's.

This is another moment, another memory that is burned into me, that will be a part of my dreams for as long as I live. This is the most important, best and sweetest memory of all. This is my everything.


Spencer's point of view.

I look around me and smile as I take in the view of everyone standing around, taking pictures and smiling and hugging. There's something bittersweet about all of this, about the way that people that used to be mean to me smiled at me today, that a few even signed my yearbook. There's just a feel of hope today. I see it in most of the faces around me, see it in all the possible futures that awaits us all.

Today I'm graduating, excited to start my last summer vacation before real life kicks in. It'll be the last time I'm a kid, the last time I can lie on a beach and not have responsibilities weighing me down. It's my childhood coming to a close.

Man, Ashley would so laugh her ass of if she could hear me now!

She says I'm a cornball, that I romanticize everything, but then she's the one that leaves me a love letter in my locker each morning. She's the one that still watches me sleep and keeps breath mints by her bed so we don't have to get up and brush our teeth before kissing.

In my eyes, she's the true cornball.

A hot, sexy cornball that does this amazing thing with her tongue...

Uhm...where was I again?

Right, she's the romantic one and I'm the sensible one. I keep telling her that and she keeps proving me right every single day.

Since that day at her father's beach house, the day we made love, it's been different between us.

Good different, obviously. Carmen says it's like we've been tied together by invisible rope, or super glued together and it's true, because we're together every waking moment and I can't be happier because of it. We just fit now.

I can't remember the last time Ashley got drunk, or the last time I saw her pissed off. Well, okay, we fight like any normal couple, but then Ashley always just jumps me and that's the end of the argument.

She says my pissed off face is sexy and I think she sometimes simply picks a fight because of it.

"Hey good looking, what're you doing here all by your lonesome? I missed you."

Ashley wraps her arms around my waist and smiles. She's all crinkly nosed and bright eyed and my heart misses a beat, despite me seeing that smile every single day.

I give her a smile of my own, because she's the one that left me to go to the bathroom only five minutes ago and now she's whining about missing me. Sadly, I even love her whining.

"I'm hiding from my mother."

Ashley nods her head understandingly and gives me a quick kiss, not bothered that other people can see us. After a month or so of trying to be discreet about our relationship, we pretty much blew it. We were just sitting in the quad at lunch and Carmen had said something about Madison's ass resembling a blimp, when Ashley had leaned over and kissed me. Right on the mouth, long and hard.

Later she said it's because she loves the sound of me laughing and she couldn't not do it. So we came out at school and then at home.

Hence me now hiding from my mother. Let's just say she didn't take it so well.

"Very understandable, the woman gives me the willies. Is she still trying to get you to go on that trip with her friends son, the Patrick guy?"

I just roll my eyes at the mention of Patrick, because the guys an ass, but my mother loves him and truly believes I'd leave my super hot girlfriend for his skinny ass.

Not gonna happen.

"Yeah, but I told her I've got plans with you this summer and if she didn't stop nagging me about it, I'd take you to the hospital with me and we'd make out in front of her boss. She was horrified."

Ashley laughs and squeezes me once, her arms finally loosening when we hear an all too familiar voice drifting over.

"But Arthur, she wants to spend the summer with that girl she's been...doing stuff with. Sinful things, Arthur! I mean as if it's not bad enough she lost the valedictorian position to that Carmen girl..."

I just laugh and drag Ashley off in the other direction, pretty sure my Dad will handle my mom. Me coming out had finally forced my dad to grow a spine and stand up to my mother. He's a different man these days and strangely enough, my mother seems to prefer this version of him. She's home almost every night for dinner and they even went away a few times over the weekends, to get to know each other again.

Ashley says my mom simply likes her men bossier and that my dad finally figured that out.

I don't honestly care, as long as he's happy now.

I finally spot Carmen standing awkwardly between her mother and sister, smiling stiffly in her cap and gown. Her brother, the nice one, is taking photo's and saying something that's making Carmen blush.

When she spots us she bolts away from the mushy family gathering, her mother's proud crying and her sisters loud voice congratulating her probably too much for her.

"Oh God, where were you guys? My mother's been crying non stop since I made the speech and my sister's been hitting on Mr Hinkle all morning. This is mortifying."

Ashley snorts and shakes her head, patting her on the back.

"Mortifying is having Spencer's mom walk in on you while you're doing the dirty! That?" She points towards Mrs Garcia and looks at Carmen again. "That's you lucky to have people that care about you."

Carmen shoves Ashley's arm off her back and gives me a look.

"You've got to stop making her watch Oprah with you, Sunshine, it's just weird to see her all...sweet and sappy like this. Freaks me out."

She gives a fake shiver and Ashley slaps her in the arm, hard.

"Shut up! I'm not sappy, okay? And I don't watch Oprah, so go take a flying dive off the roof."

Carmen gives me a look and I silently mouth the words 'she does watch' to her. Carmen smiles and shakes her head and I just pull Ashley close again.

She cries like a baby during almost all the episodes and I've actually tried to get her to stop watching, because I hate to see her cry.

"So what do we do know?"

It's Ashley that ask the question, her eyes on my face as she tugs a piece of my hair behind my ear and nuzzles in.

"We could go get beer and pizza? Michelle said her parents weren't home and we're more than welcome to hang there if you guys don't want to hit any of the graduation parties?"

I sigh when Carmen mentions Michelle and I can feel Ashley beside me shift uncomfortably. It's not that we dislike Michelle, but she basically jumped on Carmen the minute she realized that she was vulnerable and hurting. I mean days after Kyla did what she did, Michelle ran into the three of us at a cafe and basically went for the kill when it was obvious that Kyla wasn't in the picture anymore.

The thought of Kyla makes me sad, almost makes me lose that feeling of elation and excitement that graduation had given me.

I can't remember the last time I spoke to Kyla.

After that morning in the kitchen I tried to talk to her, tried to tell her I was sorry for saying what I did, but she wouldn't hear it. She just...cut me off.

It hurt so much, still does really.

She's with Aiden now, the two of them seemingly as happy as can be. I don't buy it for a second, but it's not my place to interfere anymore. I don't have that right anymore. She's got other friends now and she's living her fake happy, normal life. It's what she wanted, but it still makes me sad to think that one day that wont be enough anymore.

One day, she won't be able to deny who she is, what she is.

I simply hope that when that day comes, I'll still be around somehow.

So I nod my head and agree to beer and pizza, taking Ashley's hand in my own as we walk over to where I spotted my parents. Carmen follows, sporting an almost happy smile and I'm relieved to see it. She's not happy, not like me and Ashley, but she's doing okay. She's got Michelle and she's got us and that seems to be enough to keep her going, despite me knowing that she's still very much in love with Kyla.

I saw it everyday, when we sat in class and she would watch Kyla and then sigh softly under her breath, her face so sad it even made Ashley shake her head in disappointment. At least things between Ashley and Kyla are okay at home. We don't talk about it much, but I know Ashley was scared that her coming out would affect their relationship.

Still, all in all, despite what happened this year, it was the best year of my life.

I went from being alone, from loving someone that I thought I'd never have a chance with, to being happier than I ever expected to be, because I have Ashley.

I have this strong, amazing, beautiful girl and we love each other. No matter what happens in my life from this point on, no matter what I do or where I go, I'm already living my dream, because she's in my life. I've already achieved everything that really means something in this life, I've already got the greatest gift that one could ask for.

And what makes it all better, what makes everything that much greater, is she feels the same way. Every time she kisses me, every time she smiles at me, every time we lose ourselves in each other, our bodies and hearts both tangling so wonderfully, I'm reminded of that fact.

Nothing in my future can take that away from me...

"Hey, Spence?"

Ashley's voice is soft when she speaks, her hand tightening its hold on my own.


"I love you..."

"Forever and ever?"

"Yeah, Spence, forever and ever."

I sigh and nod my head.

"Good, 'cos I love you too. Forever and ever."

Then we turn and walk away from school, walk away from the old and into the new, the unexpected. We don't look back and we don't hesitate, her grip on my hand tight and secure and my smile sure and confident.

We walk away and leave childhood behind, sure that everything that awaits us in the future will turn out fine, simply because our will to have it so is that strong, because we love each other that much.

The end.

- - - -

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.